Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
I have a 386 16MHz IBM-PC compatible (lol remember that jargon). Due to the me not being able to upgrade my Windows 3.1 & DOS 6.2 to Windows XP I ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    208

    resurrecting a 386 IBM-PC compatible.... woes


    I have a 386 16MHz IBM-PC compatible (lol remember that jargon).

    Due to the me not being able to upgrade my Windows 3.1 & DOS 6.2 to Windows XP I decided to install linux.

    At first I did a format on the 40MB harddrive. However I went through the BIOS and selected this thing called "low-level format". After a very long time the PC seem to have hanged. So I did a forced/hard reboot. Now the harddrive doesn't work.

    Does anyone know whether an interrupt during low-level format damaged the harddrive? Should I perform the low-level format again and leave it over night?

    Otherwise, where can one get a 40MB or 80MB harddrive for a 386? I do want to install a larger hard drive but the BIOS/motherboard can't support harddrives greater than approx. 200MB or something.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    6,133
    Low level formats can cause problems occasionally I've heard. If you've done a standard format why are you trying to go further? Any distro you install will create or at least facilitate your artitioning for linux. Have you just tried setting it up with fdisk?

  3. #3
    Linux User zeeone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Third Stone From The Sun
    Posts
    287
    You now have a blanked HD, need to fdisk (DOS, FAT16 or 32) and format.
    Research, research, research before you walk the plank.
    Registered Linux User #398829

  4. #4
    Linux User GNU_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Canada, eh
    Posts
    284
    You shouldn't have interruped the low level format, but it's probably still OK. There is really no need to do a low level format to prepare for Linux though. If you suspect a hang, try first something like pressing cap's lock or num lock to see if its responding, could just have been busy.
    PTL x10 Hallelujah!
    AMD Athlon XP 2600+ 512MB RAM Dual 80G WD HD 8MB Cache (1 WinXP Home, 1 CentOS 4.2) GeForce Ti4200 128MB SB Live! 5.1
    Registered Linux user #391521

  5. #5
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    forums.gentoo.org
    Posts
    1,817
    To wipe a drive completely, and if you can get a DOS boot floppy with debug (the program) on it, you might try this link. I've used it and it works. Small hard drives are easy to come by if you can find where people dump their old machines. Check a repair shop, you might be able to get a 200Mb drive or smaller for nothing. eBay has them cheap, too.

    You don't say if youve worked out how you might install Linux, but it may not be real straightforward. If you have a CD drive, it may not be bootable. I'd recommend you look Slackware: they have several versions back to 3.3 with the 2.0 kernel. And they have good support for old hardware: check this. If you have another box running Linux, I'd recommend you consider doing a network install to (probably) save alot of hassles.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  6. #6
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    208
    I've taken pictures of my 386 insides (using mobile phone camera).

    My 386 can't boot up. The message I get during bootup is "CMOS battery dead. Please replace or something".

    I look inside and a label says "WARNING Replace battery chip with Dallas Semiconductor, model DS1287 only. Use of another battery may present a risk of fire or explosion. See owner's manual for safety instructions."

    Damn, I don't have the manual.

    The PC is a Zenith Data Systems, Z-386 SX.

    If anyone has details on the motherboard spec. where I can get a new battery, or any upgrades for this 386 then I would be very grateful.

    (PS: I think I need a new floppy as this one is busted :S Can I use any floppy disk drive?)

  7. #7
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    forums.gentoo.org
    Posts
    1,817
    So this is what batteries used to look like:


    The floppy drives in my 486 are interchangeable with modern ones. The 5-1/4" drive needs a cable with a connector that fits on terminals built into the circuit board, the 3-1/2" drive matches current (soon to be obsolete?) drives. For the floppy to boot, it needs to be on a connector after the twisted group of wires: wires 10 through 16.

    According to this source the DS1287 is closely related to the DS12887A for which they have a .pdf data sheet. The data sheet shows that pin 24 (opposite pin 1) has +5V. If nothing else comes up, if it were me, I'd try putting +5V at that pin momentarily when the computer is powered on. That would allow the BIOS to recognize the timer and I would guess that the main power supply would take over suppying the +5V. Of course, the old DS1287 should be in its place when you do that.

    Better yet, spend $20 for a brand new D1287.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  8. #8
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    forums.gentoo.org
    Posts
    1,817
    Before ditching your floppy drive or buying a new one, check to make sure the ribbon cable is not connected backwards. On floppy drives, pin 1 (the red wire on the ribbon cable) is next to the power connector for the drive, which, in a tower case puts it nearer the motherboard. In a tower case, the red pin 1 wire on the ribbon cable for hard drives is usually outboard (away from the motherboard). If the floppy cable is backwards, the floppy LED will stay lit but the drive won't work.
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

  9. #9
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    208
    check.. np

  10. #10
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    forums.gentoo.org
    Posts
    1,817
    Quote Originally Posted by kevingpo
    check.. np
    ...................................
    /IMHO
    //got nothin'
    ///this use to look better

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •